ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Since the beginning of the Permanent Fund Dividend program in 1982, dividend payouts have ranged from a few hundred dollars to more than a couple thousand for Alaskans across the Last Frontier.
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Based on data from the Alaska Dept. of Revenue's Permanent Fund Dividend Division, the lowest dividends given to residents was in 1984, with Alaskans receiving $331.29 each. The highest thus far was in 2015, when the dividend amount was above $2,000 for only the second time in history: Alaskans' PFD checks cashed out at $2,072 a piece.
The total amount provided to an Alaskan who has been receiving a yearly PFD from 1982 through 2016 adds up to $37,027.41.
Overall, the state has paid out more than $21 billion in PFD payments since the first dividend distribution in the 80's. The largest negative changes were between 1982 and 1983, when the dividend shrank by 61 percent. The biggest increase was between 2013 and 2014, when checks more than doubled, growing by 209 percent from $900 to $1,884.
In 1976, voters passed an amendment to establish the Permanent Fund. Following that, the first PFD legislation was enacted in 1980, but that was eventually ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. In response, legislature passed a law that distributed equal payments to all six-month residents. The residency requirement changed from six months to 24 months in 1989, before being dropped down to 12 months in 1990.
According to the state website, traditionally, the PFD is calculated based on the number of eligible Alaskan applicants in a dividend year, and half the statutory net income over the five most recent fiscal years. Available funds are also reduced by prior year dividend obligations, operation expenses, and other appropriations. You can see the calculation of the PFD for the year 2014 by clicking here.
To see the state's summary of applications and payments, click here.